Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Ye Have not because ye Ask Not!

The other day someone asked about my first book review whether the person just offered to review the book or if I approached her. I did approach her. I posted a notice on an email discussion list offering the book for review. I just finished writing an email to another blogger who reviews books. I don't know if she will pick it up or not, but it only took 30 seconds to compose the email. 

I get a lot of links to my websites the same way. I ask. 

Now, some of you are already thinking the sp word SPAM!!! No, I don't do that. Every email is an unique creation slanted toward that reader or list. I only send out such requests to discussion lists where I have a continuing presence where I am participating over the long term. When approaching an individual blogger, I read a bit of their blog and comment on the blog itself before asking. The same goes for websites where I am trying to get a link. 

I used to edit a website of Christian Science Fiction stories before the workload became too heavy for me to keep up. However, let's use that as an example.  

First, if I am going to ask for a link from a website, I check out the website to see if they have a link list or resource page. I also check to see if they have a news page. Because if they don't have a link page, but they have a news page, I can send them a press release instead. 

Once I know they have a resource page, I look to see if they have a contact email. I make a note of the name of the webmaster/editor. Then I begin my email with that name

Dear Mr. Johnson,

Immediately, the person knows I'm not just coming up with a purely computer generated email. Now, I go ahead and make a comment related to the site itself. 

I dropped by your site today. It is good to see other people publishing quality Christian science fiction. I especially enjoyed the story by Mary Jones. She wrote a story for Wayfarers Journal that was good as well. It's at ____.

It doesn't necessarily have to be a compliment. Although, if you can sincerely compliment something, that's a good idea. But some sort of statement that demonstrates you actually visited the site and looked around. Something as simple as mentioning the resource page by name or making reference to the layout is enough to say that you actually visited the site.

Now, you go ahead and invite the person to come visit your site and, if they want to, give you a link. I personally don't offer link exchanges unless, this is a site I really think my visitors would like to visit. My first responsibility is to my own visitors. But if it is something I think will benefit them, then offering to exchange links can "sweeten the pot."
The reason I'm writing is that I would like to invite you to visit Wayfarer's Journal and browse around. If you think it is a worthwhile site, I would be honored if you included it on your resource page. 

Terri Main
Wayfarer's Journal
May God bless your ministry.

Notice, I spend more time in the email talking about his site than I do talking about my own. 

Here's an example of a letter asking  for a review on a blog:

Dear Ms. Juarez,
I dropped by Books I Love today. I notice that you recently reviewed The Arcturian Way by Clive Henry. I loved that book when I read it. I notice you have reviewed several 'hard' science fiction books recently. Those are some of my own personal favorites.
My new book Dark Side of the Moon takes a hard science fiction approach, but also works in a country cozy mystery feel as well. If you would be interested in reviewing this book I could make an electronic copy available to you immediately. All I ask is a link back to the DarkSideOfTheMoon.com website. I wouldn't presume to tell you what to write. I enjoy the good reviews and learn from the negative ones.
I wish you well with your blog.

Terri Main
Author Dark Side of the Moon Just released by MuseItUp Publishing 


  1. Thanks Terri,
    This is a good learning experience for me. My book is coming out soon from MuseItUp and I am hoping for reviews.

  2. Barbara, be sure to check the files at the MuseItUp yahoo site to see which reviewers Lea sends to automatically, so you don't duplicate your efforts.

  3. I just signed up for a teleseminar on Thurs evening by Dana Lynn Smith for how to get your book reviewed. I should have just read your post! Thanks.

  4. J.Q. Well, they might have some other ideas. If you learn something good post them here. This is just a small bite of learning.


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